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Lecture

News Judgement, Fairness and Language

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Department
English
Course
ENG 285
Professor
Chad Gibbs
Semester
Fall

Description
Ethical questions:  situational  some parts of story may not run  important to have info first (the scoop)  what if you had private fact and decided not to run it?  candidates sexuality covertly revealed and another station has outed them, do you run with it?  damage has been done on a small scale, b/c not everyone saw it in the first paper/station to run it  no one reports on rape b/c people have right to own life unless it comes from the victim’s mouth o Elizabeth Smart case: report on kidnapping not rape. Father controlling dissemination of information  does it effect community? o public safety=yes  where will it be published?  do you publish an embargoed story early? o well, the first to do it will be cut off, but if you come later but early it’s ok  selling an embargoed story to an independent news source? o reporter might tell another from a different paper to follow something b/c they can’t News Judgement:  Story that causes most fear or speculation has most weight o could it happen to me/in my town? o death>injury>property damage o murder>robbery>burglary (unless it’s a prominent person) o young & old (think about buildings and laws as well)>teens>adults  controversy o brawls, debate, argument, charges & counter charges o if it’s your gov it’s a concern, if it’s not it’s funny  emotion o pics & sound o heroic exploits do better on tv and internet than in print o weather=midway, unless severe; followed by sports; then weird news/kicker (elephant playing in kiddie pool) to make you forget earliy and have ot watch again o be careful of anger o odd news=first, smallest, oldest, youngest  drudgereport=headlines repository o famous after breaking monica lewinski story b/c Newsweek decided to delay  importance goes top down (minor arrests of celebs make headlines, otherwise they don’t)  localise=local stories have more value than those far away o closer=bigger o look at people involved, can you bring it back home  timeliness= trending now bar for online news o yesterdays headlines fade fast, what’s going on now? o interest drops rapidly, no more 24-48 hour interest o how can you run from that o internet wins in timeliness  currency=is it going on now? does it effect us now?  usefulness o listicals o useful=people read it o how does it apply to me? o how to solve problems? o advice o health is big  educational value o what can you learn? o is there a teachable moment? o may need to show they have community service to keep license  ad space may count  location matters in headlines (policeman shoots robber bigger in UK, where as robber shoots policeman bigger here)  news meetings at least once a day to run down stories and decide order o director trumps all o don’t run someone else’s story as your lead Fairness:  objectivity is impossible unless giving only numbers  think fair, not objective  rooting-big no-no o no cheering for one side or another  no rioting  no wearing stuff that takes a side o maintain at least some separation o may be subtle, but let the facts speak o may come through in sources and quotes u
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